A Message To Media Executives Everywhere – Winter Is Coming…

As a millennial, I’m writing this open letter to all those responsible for publishing video content … to all the Over-the-top (OTT), Video On-demand (VOD), Cable Providers, and Media Companies out there. What I’m about to say isn’t anything new. It’s been pondered about for some time now. I hope that this time around, those responsible for the video watching experience do something about it. The fear is brewing that if you are not able to adapt to the changing media landscape you wont survive for much longer.

Dear Video Media Executive, 

Let me start with the good news. Your industry is growing…

+ The Over-The-Top (OTT) market will grow from $25billion to $54billion by 2019 with North America and Asia-Pacific having the largest share in revenue contribution (DigitalSmiths 2015).
+ Mobile/PC have overtaken traditional media: Avg. media consumption per day in the US: 7 hours (mobile 1.8 hours, PC 1.6 hours, TV 1.5 hours).
+ There is a large and growing market in video: 1.4 billion online videos are going to be watched in the U.S. only today. 51% of the global mobile traffic is done for mobile video. It will be 66% by 2015.

You have adapted to the TV Everywhere mentality. Congrats !

From the NAB conference in Las Vegas to Streaming Media East in New York City, TV Everywhere has been the talk of the town. We’ve seen the likes of Time Warner, Comcast, and networks like NBC, CBS, and Discovery push their content onto various screens. People are now consuming their video content on mobile devices, tablets, Smart TV’s, on set-top devices, and even inside cars. Newer products and services, particularly alternative methods for the distribution, sale and viewing of content, have been, and will likely continue to be, developed that further increase the number of competitors that the industry face and challenge existing business models. These products and services are also driving changes in consumer behavior as consumers seek more control over when, where and how they consume content and access communications services. A majority of the players within the space have been keeping up with the TV Everywhere trend, but it wont last long if you don’t prepare for the next battle. 

Now, onto the darker side of the coin…

Your success is, to a large extent, dependent on your ability to acquire, develop, adopt and leverage new and existing technologies, and your competitors’ use of certain types of technology. If you fail to employ technologies desired by consumers before your competitors do so, or if you fail to execute effectively on your technology initiatives, your business and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Feel free to celebrate the fact that you managed to get your content everywhere, but don’t party for too long. If you do, unfortunately you will be the only kid still dancing when everyone already left the party. Netflix and the likes have moved on from this and have focused heavily on their science, learning more and more about their users behaviors and the large data sets they manage.

It’s time for you to do the same. There are now companies out there who focus strictly on the science piece, allowing you to focus on content. The next wave after the TV Everywhere revolution is personalization and content discovery. And it’s this wave that’s going to decide whether you leave the party with a prize in hand or you go home empty handed. Personalization is the idea that each consumer is presented with the most relevant content. It’s where a user can discover content that they never new existed. It’s where you keep them engaged, wanting them to come back for more. 

When we look at the next 6-12 months, the same movies and TV shows will be found on demand across various platforms. What happens when every content provider will have similar content on their platforms, and a user can got to multiple content publishers to get their fix? Those who provide the best user experience will win out. Consumers want to be presented content they want to watch, they don’t want to search for it in a search bar or cycle through multiple video thumbnails to find the right video to watch. 

We understand the need here, so let’s start doing something about it. 

…Winter is coming. 

Sincerely,

The Millennial Generation

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